Antiquity renewed in the Honors College
Ezra Pound once exhorted, “make it new,” and The Center for Creative Work seeks to do just that as it kicks off the Spring 2013 Dionysia with the fourth annual Ekphrastic Arts Festival, April 24 and 25 in the Honors College Commons.
The festival is divided into two portions, and the UH Honors Art Competition and Exhibition will run 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, while the UH Composers Showcase will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
The Center for Creative Work’s Dionysia focuses this year on the theme of “War and Rage,” highlighted by the upcoming performance of Ilium, loosely adapting Homer’s “The Iliad.” The Ekphrastic Arts Festival, though, offers solo artists the opportunity to showcase their individual talents and perspectives on the theme, celebrating the diversity of viewpoints and abilities within the honors community.
The Greek term “Ekphrazein,” roughly translated, means to call an object by its rightful name. That idea is central to the Ekphrastic Arts Festival, in which the pieces exhibited respond within one medium to art from another medium. By reinterpreting art in a new medium, artists can give new, creative life to deeply ingrained stories or narratives.
The art that the Center for Creative Work solicited covers film, music, dance, poetry, flash fiction, lyric essays, paintings, sculpture and photography. The competition form submission says, “Ekphrastic art attempts to confront, interpret, inhabit, and speak to another work of art.”
The artworks that students have been instructed to interpret are the “Great Works” studied in The Human Situation — like the plays of Euripides and Sophocles, “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” and other luminary standouts from the literary age of antiquity.
Wednesday’s competition will highlight the visual portion of the artistic spectrum, while Thursday’s portion will highlight the musical compositions and will be judged by a Moore’s School of Music panel. Prizes will be awarded to top entries in either category. Both sections include performances by competitors, and anyone interested in attending and viewing should contact the Honors College for further details. Any curious parties are encouraged to witness as artists seek to make new some of the most profound and deeply ingrained narratives in the Western canon.